Fable-like, spare, complex & rhythmic. The way any propaganda film should be. I wanted to say that the (now) (all too) familiar (postcolonial) narrative is universalized & transcended in the last magical scene. Except while this is true, it is also true that the movie always also maintains its concrete political commitment. A movie to wake your soul to face the strictures of reality and to TRY to rewrite them.
Music was great, ending was perfect. Pretty excellent overall. I'm still a little confused, though. Did Diouanna understand French or not? Was she pretending not to speak it?
A rich, complex fable of Africa under European bondage told in beautiful and wonderfully simple filmic language. The final images pack a punch.
The film says a lot about race relations in Africa, and especially in France, one of its colonizers. Left with no option but quiet revolutions, the girl passively follows fate, allowing others to dictate over her. The film, only one hour long, is powerful and tries to dissect racist attitudes but falls short on several points.
In Dakar, a mask is a mask and a woman is a woman. But in France, the mask ceases to be a mask and becomes a wall decoration and Diouanne ceases to be a woman and becomes essentially a slave. It isn't until the beautiful haunting ending when the boy follows Diouanne's old boss like a ghost, that he makes sure the Frenchman never forgets that the mask was always a mask and Diouanne was always a woman.
I like that this film shows a side of racism rarely explored-- the ennui, the complete intellectual stalemate of being a society boring enough to be racist. Great ending.